Medicinal mushrooms have been used for decades in Eastern medicine for treatment of inflammatory, degenerative, and metabolic disorders. They have documented effects against microbes, including bacterial and viral, tumor cell production, immunomodulation, and cognitive symptoms.
Studies have shown medicinal mushrooms and their extracts contain bioactive compounds that have positive effects on immune response pathways, both innate and adaptive immune responses, and apoptosis pathways which are involved in cancer prevention. They help to stabilize immune cells which can reduce autoreactivity and allergic responses. Some mushroom species help promote neurogenesis – the growth of new nerves – and may be used for memory and cognition.
Eastern medicine uses many species of mushrooms. Some common species used in Western integrative medicine include reishi, turkey tail, lions mane, cordyceps, and shiitake. Reishi has evidence of its benefit in cholesterol management and acts as an antioxidant to help prevent neurodegenerative disorders. Turkey tail has important polysaccharide complexes that can support immune responses and may help to antagonize cancer cell production. Lions mane helps with cognition and anti-tumor. Cordyceps is widely used for mitochondrial support and reduction of inflammation for improvement of pain. Shiitake too is used for its anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects.
Dr. Ilene Ruhoy, MD & PhD, Gut Council Member for Jetson. Dr. Ruhoy is trained in both pediatric and adult neurology at Seattle Children’s Hospital and the University of Washington. She is the founder of the Center for Healing Neurology.